Dec 11, 2009

Viewers quiet on new NewsHour, PBS ombudsman says

Interestingly, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler didn't receive any comments from viewers on the revamped PBS NewsHour, he reports in his latest column (well, one that was "not for posting"). Getler, who calls himself "a devoted watcher" of the program, writes of its latest incarnation: "I, personally, found the first few days of the new format and approach to be a distinct improvement. The program seemed to have more zip and energy, faster paced, with good interviews and without the always predictable language that introduced the show in the past." The new version, with its online anchor Hari Sreenivasan, kicked off Dec. 7.

Penn State pubcasting compiles films by student vets of Iraq War

Penn State Public Broadcasting has created an interesting web site filled with documentaries by student war veterans, "Back from Iraq: The Veterans' Story Project." Eight students completed a special class for them last semester, "Narrative, Oral History, New Media Technologies," at Penn State University’s main campus that taught the vets documentary filmmaking. They chronicled their experiences in their docs. Among the vets is a Marine machine gunner, a surface warfare fire controlman and an intelligence officer. Support for the project was provided by CPB.

In case you missed it . . .

Washington Week's Gwen Ifill chatted with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show last night. One revelation: Pubcasters on her show "are seated hours before we begin, just to have a chance to stare at each other." Who knew?

CPB grants allow pubTV travel to more conferences

CPB has expanded the list of conferences for professional development small-station grants. Staffers at public TV stations receiving nonfed financial support of $2 million or less may attend various conferences in 2010. Want to go to NETA in January? Or the PBS tech conference, or Showcase? There's a rolling deadline to apply for no more than two $1,500 grants per year for professional development.